Wagamama goes up for auction

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The Independent Online

The £250m auction of the Wagamama noodle chain will kick off next week when potential bidders receive information on the sale of the business.

Rothschild, an adviser to Lion Capital – the private equity firm that is the majority owner – has put the finishing touches to the information memorandum. First-round bids are due by the end of the month.

It is three years since Lion turned down a bid of £210m, which it believed undervalued the business.

Stronger bids are expected this time due to a recent boom in mergers and acquisitions. The fast food giant Burger King was sold to 3G Capital last week for $4.2bn, while Carluccio's Italian restaurant chain said has agreed a £90m offer from the Dubai-based Landmark Group.

An industry source said: "If you take the Carluccio's price, the fact that the businesses are similar in brand and potential, and apply that to Wagamama, you get to £250m. There's a top-notch management team at Wagamama, too."

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